tv Meet the Press NBC January 29, 2012 10:30am-11:30am EST
about the band. there's a wireless mind inside all of us. so, where to next? ♪ this sunday, is romney dueling for victory in the sunshine state offering a final pitch to voters? >> i think as you look at the speaker's record over time, it has been highly erratic. >> if you have been campaigning for six years, and you begin to see it slip away, you get desperate. and when you get desperate, you say almost anything. >> it's a week where the debate, yet again, looms large. >> did you check your own investments? you also have investments and mutual funds that also invested in freddie mac and fannie mae.
romney versus gingrich, a debate against both sides. for romney, arizona senator john mccain, who campaigns aggressively for him in florida, and for gingrich, fred thompson. and then the president with a pointed state of the union address. >> asking a billionaire to pay the same as average americans, most people would call that common sense. finally our political roundtable breaks down the fight for florida and talks about where the race goes from here. host of msnbc's "morning joe, " joe scarborough will be here, and presidential historian, doris kearns goodwin will be here, as well as our nbc political chief collector, chuck todd.
good morning, the final 48 hours before republican voters go to the polls in florida, and this is how the race now stands in the sunshine state. mitt romney going away, a 15-point lead over gingrich. we will go through the final arguments with john siegenthalesiegenthale siegenthaler -- john mccain. first, let's go in with chuck todd. >> we asked folks what is the most important quality in making your division. electability, can beat obama 41%, and mitt romney has a larger lead over newt gingrich. but romney leads in all of the categories, and in fact experience to govern can beat obama more than a majority, and that's where mitt romney does best. this issue of electricitiability showed up in the poll. mitt romney performed best of the three candidates.
but look at this. rick santorum does better against president obama against newt gingrich, and we saw the same thing in the florida numbers, and this long campaign is taking a toll on the republican party. look at this. all three republican candidates having net negative positive approval rating there on the personal numbers, and that's an issue they will have to deal with in the general, and that's why mitt romney needs to wrap this up sooner than later. joining me now for a special debate, former presidential candidates themselves, the 2008 nominee john mccain, and fred thompson, welcome to both of you. i want to make a quick note to the viewers. we had an interview scheduled later with rick santorum, but we got word his daughter has been
hospitalized in philadelphia, and certainly our thoughts and prayers are with senator santorum this morning. now we will turn to politics and the all-important race in florida. senator mccain, you know it was florida in 2008 where you effectively shut the door and got the nomination. what does florida mean now? >> i think it means more than it did in 2008 because you got a split between new hampshire and south carolina, as you know. so it's a vital race here. i am glad to see that mitt is doing so well. >> for your candidate, newt gingrich, he has to be looking at the florida numbers after a win in south carolina saying this could put a lot of pressure on him and make romney the frontrunner again should he win. >> yeah, first of all, i know we both want to express our concern as far as rick is concerned and his family. rick has been a guy, a warrior, and that family is to be greatly commended for the way they handled the illness of their
small child. we hope for the best. yeah, thanks for starting the show off with those poll numbers. really perked my day up. no, it looks like the way the poll numbers play out, romney could have a victory in florida. that means, what, 10% of the delegates could have been counted? i think you will look at a longer race. i think that, you know, the -- we'll see the two wins and the majority. in south carolina, newt won practically every group there, except for those with higher incomes, and high degrees, and we'll break it down and see what it means. but it's probably about 10% of the delegates i would think. >> let's talk about some of the dynamics. you have the establishment of the republican party saying newt gingrich cannot be the nominee. we were talking before we came
on about former senator bob dole, and we will put a portion of his statement on the screen. i have been critical of newt gingrich, and it will have an average impact on candidates. hardly anybody that served with newt gingrich in congress endorsed him, and that speaks for itself. and senator thompson, you know gingrich well and served with him, and this is the view, if he is the nominee, it helps president obama. >> i served with him, so i am one of those people that have endorsed him and there are several others that have served with him, too. but there is old score settling going on. newt had some run-ins with people of his own party, but, you know, a lot of them -- i am not talking about bob dole who i love, but a lot of them were holding newt's coat back when he
conceived to have the first republican speaker in years, when they balanced the budget and held bill clinton's feet to the fire and got welfare reform passed, and we were winning elections and his personality and leadership skills didn't seem to be a problem back then, but when the poll numbers dropped off and started to lose elections we should have won, everything changed and mitt romney has been the frontrunner for a long time. >> is the real fear, as governor christie said last week, that he is an embarrassment to the republican party. >> i would not say that, but i would say we had rather unpleasant experiences with newt gingrich, and one of them was the government shut down, and bob dole is the one that called a halt to it because it was killing us. the american people rejected the idea of us shutting down the government. my problems with newt has been
over earmark spending. billions and billions and billions. when newt gingrich became speaker they turned earmarks into an art form, and it's the gateway to corruption. and we have former members of congress in jail. duke cunningham, and abramoff, and all of this is because of the corruption that is bread by the outrageous obscene corruption earmark process. they went in his first year from $7.8 billion in earmarks to two years later to $14.5 billion in earmarks. i read up on the floor of the senate, 52 pages of earmarks. that kind of thing, they had the k street project, where there was a relationship with a lobbyist on k street. it was not the principles of abe lincoln and ronald reagan. finally, he criticized on march 21st, 1986 on the floor of the senate and said that ronald reagan was a failure in the
war -- in the struggle against the soviet union. i want to emphasize, the reason why mitt has the electability is because of his experience as a governor and business person and saved the olympics in salt lake city, and i think people are looking at that as a reason for his electability. >> if you go to the negatives for gingrich, and can newt gingrich beat president obama? >> i think any of our candidates can. you just showed the numbers up there. we have to stop the debates. enough with the debates, because they are driving up our candidates, all of them on unfavor ru unfavorability. we have had enough of that. and it's time to recognize who the real adversary is, and that's not each other. >> what do you think of the advertisement? this is the growth of the super pac in this race? >> i can condemn on all sides,
and i can condemn the united states supreme court for the decision which is an outrage. now we have a casino and his wife, $10 million into the race. he makes a lot of his money there. on both sides, we have incredible amounts of money, and i guarantee you, there will be a scandal. there is too much money washing around politics, and it's making the parties irrelevant. >> but you think the gingrich campaign is where this is coming from? >> no, it's going to be a scandal that has to do with foreign money and a scandal to do with the way it was raised. you cannot have this much money washing around -- >> do we want to talk about money? i understand shelgtston asked mitt romney for a loan. is that right? >> a reverse mortgage? >> yeah. citizens united is not
responsible for all this. it does not stop many from pulling millions of dollars in. >> is it hurting the nominee-to-be? >> i will tell you what is hurting the nominee. by the way, john hit on the basic philosophical difference that divides newt and some of his colleagues. back when newt was trying to hold clinton's feet to the fire, and newt got a lot of criticism, and a lot of people said if we would have held out longer clinton would have caved, and bob dole went to the floor and said enough was enough, and that's the philosophical different, and all the other overkill, bringing members of congress and putting them in the gingrich rallies and causing disruptions and things like that is way overboard. what is hurting us and what is going to be hurting our nominee, let's say romney is theominee.
his plan is to play nice guy until somebody gets close to him and then he released his attack machine, and that's what happened in iowa and what is happening in florida, and spending millions -- i think they spent $16 million in television ads alone in florida. >> but, this is moderate politics? >> well, it's being bad when the shoe is on the other foot, and he out spent -- this goes to electability, too. he out spent gingrich in south carolina, and that was not enough. and he is out spending him in florida with a lead ad that is totally false according to the "wall street journal" yesterday saying that he was forced out of congress in disgrace, and it
says don't believe mitt romney when he pedals this stuff, and that was yesterday in the "wall street journal," and that's his key to victory. and there's a page today where romney's staff is patting themselves on the back, talking about how down they are and how they have matt grudge in their back pocket and how romney is in on it and how they are sending surrogates to the opposition rallies and so forth. is this a way to win? >> there's a fight within the republican party. you have the rise of the tea party and the establishment making an argument, and your former running mate, sarah palin, posted something on facebook. she rights i have a great concern about the gop establishment trying to apoint in a candidate without the blessing of the grassroots. you do have the split in the party. does that guarantee that gingrich could stay in and this
could go on quite a while? >> i think it could go on a while and it would not be to our benefit. if we would have hung on in 1995, we could have -- the libertarian party could have won the next election. to say we should have hung on a little longer is remarkable. but the point is -- listen, by the way i love sarah and i agree with her. she may have had different experiences with newt than i did in 2007 when president bush showed great courage and started the surge and that's what saved us in iraq, at least militarily. and it was irrelevant and inadequate is what newt said. he attacked ronald reagan in 1986 when we were getting enough attacks from the left. i think mitt romney knows how to work with democrats. that's the case in massachusetts. he knows the private sector. by the way, attacking people who
make money in the private sector is -- i guess you will have mr. axelrod on later on, and i think he will be appreciative of that. the point is he has the experience and knowledge and the background, and i have gotten to know mitt and gotten to know his wife and my wife, cindy, has, and i think he is displaying now the kind of delivery and persuasive argument that is going to carry him through. >> you did in 2008 attack him as a flip-flopper, and for his conduct enroning bain capital? >> newt can raise whatever issue he wants, and i remember the fights between ronald reagan and bush who later chose him as vice president, and mitt romney was on a very short list of my considerations to be a running mate. when these things are over you
have to get together and be sure of what the objective is, and that's victory in the general election. i think we can do that, fred. >> well, we better. but i thought we were past the ronald reagan stuff. ronald reagan son endorsed newt, and nancy reagan said we are handing off the mantle from reagan to newt. and let's put that aside for a minute. here is the underlying issue. our country is in deep trouble. this is where i am coming from. our country is possibly on the brink. we have to make basic divisions. our economy stopped, and for all practical purposes i think the fed indicated they expected that to happen in the foreseeable future with the interest rate statement that they made the other day. we're in serious trouble. we have a president that is out
there now trying to divide the american people and mislead the american people, saying good news, we are importing less oil than before, and it's because of the obama recession that we're importing less oil. that's like congratulating a sick person for losing weight. we have to have somebody who is tough who can challenge obama on the policies but the under pendings of the policies. we don't need a data processor, but we need somebody who is courageous and will shake things up in washington. if you look at mitt's policies, his capital gains policy, for example, tracks barack obama's. we still don't know what his problem with obamacare is. we have been through 18 debates and we have yet to to know -- they said it was on a federal level instead of a state level,
what his problem was with obamacare? >> before we go, this got a lot of attention, this picture in a heated discussion with president obama. you said this week it's very well known that obama has a brickly personality. >> unlike me. >> are you concerned about that incident? >> i am concerned about whenever there's a situation that evolves like that. it doesn't help. the president doesn't help our governor. but she has a legitimate point. he has been to arizona on many occasions, and he has never been to the border, where we have had a agent killed and drugs are flooding into arizona and around the country. 40,000 people have been killed on the other side of the border and the president won't even go down and have a look? that's one of the things that was the subject of her letter. let's invite the president down on the whole immigration issue
about securing the border. the cartels have people sitting on mountain tops in arizona guiding the drug runners up to phoenix where it's distributed all over the country, and it's a big issue. >> and as you know, you are making history, tying your appearance with dole. you will get the yuniversal studios package. >> thank you for having me on with my old pal. coming up, as republicans continue to battle in the sunshine state, president obama unveils his own campaign pitch this week. is he in a better position for re-election than many first thought? we will take a look inside his play book with his campaign strategist, david axelrod. and then 22 days befotwo dae
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joining me now, senior adviser to president obama's campaign, david axelrod. >> before we start, let me add my prayers and thoughts for senator santorum and his child. i have been through problems with a child and my heart goes out to him and his family. >> yeah, as does ours, and he promises to be back on the campaign trail and we will watch for that. and let's talk about the state of the union address the
president gave this week, and it was in many ways a blueprint how he intended to run against the republicans, whoever the nominee is this fall. and one of the criticisms was this. and this is from "the new york times." the republicans at least speak with epic alarm about the nation's problems, and they are behind big tax and reforms. has he trimmed his sales from being a leader? >> i love david, and he's a great friend of mine and the truth is republicans are not offering ideas to deal with the economic challenges. they want to go back to the same ideas that were in place in the last decade.
as far as the president goes, david may not think it's a big idea to transform the education system and increase access to higher education and turn our college system into a skills center so people can get jobs, and he may not think that reviving american manufacturing is a big idea, but most americans would disagree with him who are living out there in the real world. >> if you look how dire the fiscal situation is in the country, and we just came off a debt debacle this summer, and one said where is the heart stuff and where is the beef? where are the hard choices americans are going to have to make? what are americans going to have to do with less of if this president gets re-elected? >> we will have to have shared sacrifice. the president already authorized $2 trillion in savings and cuts in the budget, and he is willing to do more. the debate is how do we do it in
a balanced way? are we going to pursue the path of a mitt romney and those in the republican party who say we're going to do it without any new revenues, so instead of asking millionaires to pay a little bit more, we will cut education by 25%, and cut research and development by 25%, and cut our investments and energy and other areas that we need to grow an economy in a way in which the middle class and opportunity is growing and not shrinking? >> the debt commission that the president convened is not advise that he acted on, and the reality is the fiscal situation is dire, if we are not dealing with entitlements, and you talk about shared sacrifice, and there was a stimulus plan and a new health care entitlement. >> he is willing to do a grand bargain, a large deal to deal with our def sits, but
understand, senator simpson put forward a proposal he was impanelled by the president, and they put forward a proposal that would have called for significant new revenues by asking more of upper income americans and the republican party said no we will not do that. and so we have to have a balanced way forward when the republican party is willing to step forward, the republicans in congress and saying let's do this together in a balanced way and protect the key investments we need to grow and yet cut and ask more from people that can afford it and willing to do it, i think. >> let me ask you about the republican race. it seems mitt romney was very much on the president's mind when he gave the state of the union address, and he talked about an argument he will take to the campaign. >> we can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do well by a growing
number of people get by. or we can be where everybody does their fair share and everybody plays by the same set of rules. >> it was revealed that governor romney paid a tax rate about 15% over the last couple years. he was asked about his wealth and taxes during the debate and this is what he said. >> i have earned the money that i have. i did not inherit it. i take risks and investments. >> did he not play by the rules? >> well, he absolutely -- i am not saying he didn't play by the rules. the rules allow you to have swiss bank accounts, and to set up businesses in bermuda. the rules allow all of that. the question is, are the rules right? he would continue those rules. it's not right that somebody like governor romney can make $22 million and pay an effective
tax rate lower than the middle class tax in the country. if we are going to solve the deficit, then everybody is going to have to give a little, and that includes people at the top. his view is that somehow our economy profitses because he has special benefits that other people of more modest means don't have, and we just disagree. >> why doesn't that appear to be a more poll tested question? if you want to have shared sacrifices, the middle class pay more taxes too? if it's a shared sacrifice, why not say to everybody, everybody has to do with less in terms of social safety net and everything else? >> well, there's no doubt that there has been sacrifices in the $2 trillion cuts, and there will be more sacrifices, and we will
have to address things involving those programs, but the middle class has seen their income shrink over the last decade, not grow. and people like governor romney have done spectacularly well, and so to say let's put the burden on the middle class seems to be counter intuitive. >> romney's business experience in the free market that gives the president real concern that he will take to the american people, what is that? >> the concern should be on the part of the american people. he has a great track record for creating wealth for himself and partners, and he has done it by closing stores and offices around the country, and he has done it by outsourcing jobs, and he's done it by profiting by loading companies down with debt and then putting them in bankruptcy, and he and his partners have then made millions of dollars.
>> the capital gained as well. >> that number is shifting around as you know. governor romney is offering different numbers. his philosophy suggests his emphasis on creating a process for himself and his partners and investors are not creating jobs. the truth is, david, he made the same argument when he ran for governor of massachusetts. what happened when he became governor of massachusetts? they fell to 47th in the nation in job creation. now he is running the same game again, and i think the american people are rightly going to -- >> well, he doesn't want to run on job losses, does he, because he will lose that against mitt romney? >> well, in 2007 and 2008 praised the last administration for the economics, and at a time we were losing millions of jobs heading into our administration, and 4 million jobs in the last
six months. i think he will have a hard time making that argument to the american people. >> a lot of people hear you and think you are casting exspartions on venture capital. there are companies that failed costing the taxpayers a great deal of money and yet the president said we will double down and not turn our back on clean energy? >> well, governor romney profited off of something quite different where you buy a company loaded with debt and strip it down and let it go bankrupt and make money off fees from the bankruptcy. that's a different approach. >> yeah, and the country is stronger a lot of people would argue. >> and you raise the point, i don't hear governor romney saying i applaud the president for doing things to try and encourage clean energy in the
country. which we are doing. we will double renewable energy use on jobs. 22 straight months of private sector job growth. and governor romney said the policies were in place that were shoring up the economy. >> what do you think will happen in the race? i know you don't want to handicap it, i have heard you say that before. you are gearing up for governor romney. do you think this fight goes on particularly because of the split between the establishment and the tea party i was talking about a few minutes ago? >> i think it could. i always thought governor romney is a weak frontrunner, and he over powered gingrich in florida with a 5 to 1 spending advantage and a negative ad campaign, but you have to look at the delegates that could win. when we had a long primary process with senator clinton,
and it strengthened us. we did not see our numbers erode the way governor romney's numbers eroded. his numbers are falling and he's under water natalionanationally. he is pandering to the forces on the right of the party trying to win the nomination. and i always say, you know, he has his own version of state's rights. he thinks he has the right to change his position in every state he campaigns in. in florida, he has tried to run in a different direction. and on every single issue, including, by the way, whether he would release his tax returns. he has been all over the lot and it caused people to doubt his core as one of my colleagues said here some months ago. so i think it's not been a helpful process for him. >> you look at what president obama is up against, and it was
captured in the nbc news poll, are you better off or worst off financially with president obama as president. this will obviously be a fight about the economy. and another thing i have a question about as i watch the president campaign and i read criticisms of him and his style. does he like politics? >> i think he likes to do things that make the community stronger. he loves to be with people. he enjoys that and you can see that when he is out and campaigning. does he like the kind of sorted stuff that we have seen on display in florida in the last week? probably not. i think any reasonable person would not. but i think that he relishes the opportunity to help devote himself to help making this a stronger country, and he believes very deeply if we don't have an economic policy, the idea that a growing middle class is the key to a strong economy,
we will have a very dim future. on the other hand, we have a opportunity to build a brighter future, so he is very motivated. >> you say to somebody that maybe voted for obama in 2008 and is on the fence now why he deserves the second term, not quite the bumper sticker, maybe a little longer answer, and what is it? >> he led the country through a very difficult time. we have a long way to go and we're in a different place than when he got here, and he has a vision to build the country as i said, in an economy where hard work pays off and everybody plays by the same rules and everybody gets a fair shake. he believes that's rooted in the firmest and most important american values and it's the key to our future. >> congratulations on your institute for politics in the university of chicago. >> thank you. coming up, two days before the republican primary in
florida. the new nbc poll in the sunshine state shows mitt romney in the driver's seat, and can gingrich close the gap? what about the road forward? who does the political calendar favor in the road ahead? msnbc's joe scarborough is here, and doris kearns goodwin is here as well as chuck todd. i don't have homework today. it's what's right here is what is most important to me. it's beautiful. ♪ ♪
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i hate when he does that. we're back with our political roundtable. joining me the political director for nbc news, chuck todd, and doris kearns goodwin, and host of msnbc's morning joe scarborough, joe scarborough. and the race is 42% to 27%. how has romney done it? how has he put himself in a position to make florida the rebound state for him? >> you don't have to ask me. just ask his advisers who are spilling their guts telling the world it was not the candidate
that turned things around, it was their own brilliance. i find it to be one of the most fascinating articles that in the middle of the campaign you would have. one was to make newt angry and mitt romney look tough. and we were all saying, florida is a big state. you win by having lots of money and having 30-second ads and having the wind at your back. these advisers can take all the credit they want in the end. >> look at the money. you put it up on the screen. it's quite striking. $15.7 million between the campaign and the super pac dw f dwarfing gingrich. >> and this is the story. it's the money. it's surprising to see all of these strategists take credit in the "new york times" without giving their candidate credit and that's going to be an
interesting internal spat, but money was the answer here. what is interesting in the poll, they made gingrich so unelectable to some conservativ conservatives, where if you get rid of the santorum vote, romney's lead grows. they made newt gingrich not just unelectable, but unacceptable. >> debate performances, which we will talk about in a minute, but getting the establishment altogether to say we must stop gingrich, he cannot win. >> i thought it was an extraordinary thing that senator dole said where he said this is our last stand -- that's it. and the only help for gingrich is that he has to try and mobilize the tea party people feel that the establishment closed in on him, and that's
where cain comes in and sarah palin, and etc. >> this was the exchange over blind trust and investments. watch. >> first of all, my investments are not made by me. my investments for the last ten years have been a blind trust managed by a trustee. but you have checked your own investment snz you also have investments from mutual funds that invest in freddie mac and fannie mae. >> yeah, it was like, you have done it too. >> they heard newt talking about it that day, and they did research and voila. a week ago we were talking about the newt surge, and immediately after newt won, doris is right, the republican establishment rebells, just like immediately after romney won new hampshire and looked inevitable, the
conservative establishment rebelled. it's ugly for the republican brand where you have sarah palin coming up and comparing the republican party to stallin? chuck's poll showed these guys are upside down now in the positive and negative ratings. this is hurting the republican party moving forward. >> and newt lives and died by the debates. first he complained last week that there was no reaction allowed from the crowd. and then he said there was too much and it destroyed his rhythm, and then he wanted to go back to the lincoln and douglas debate, and the crowd would yell out hit him again, harder, and what would happen to his rhythm in that happened? >> we will put up on the screen what the tax return showed for mitt romney and how much money he made over the last couple
years. you made a remark that wealth alone is not a problem for presidents, right? george washington did okay. >> so did jfk and teddy roosevelt and franklin roosevelt, but each one had something in their lives that allowed them to connect to regular people. fdr had polio which took him out of the privileged life and allowed him to connect to ordinary people, and jfk was in world war ii. and the problem with romney is maybe he had experiences, but it doesn't show when he wants to make a $10,000 bet, or i have had a pink slip, or i like firing people. that shows that somehow his life experience has not connected him impatheti impathetically. >> now he has the one line attack that anybody can do. it's one phrase that is going to come up over and over again.
he used it. you have heard newt gingrich use it, and last week mitt romney doesn't have a newt gingrich problem, but a mitt romney problem. the romney people seem to realize the lesson they learned, don't let up. they know this issue of the revenge of the tea party could come bite them at some point in time, and so they are going to keep their foot on newt gingrich's neck. but they still have not fixed the mitt romney problem. >> and first, joe scarborough, when we talk about the rise and fall of newt gingrich, you wrote something that i thought was vibrant. consider yourself forewarned. i have known this guy a long time to realize the only three
species to survive will be cockroaches, cher, and newt and leroy gingrich. >> and that's not a nuclear holocaust. february is a down month. that gives the strategist three or four weeks to plan and then look at the calendar. you look at georgia, alabama, mississippi, louisiana, tennessee, oklahoma, texas soon after that. if i have to bet on newt's strongest state, i list all of those. that's exactly what he needs. this is not the end of newt gingrich, and this is not the beginning of the end of newt gingrich. this battle is going well into the summer, and that's really bad news for mitt romney and bad news for the republican party. >> looks like you have been reporting on this all week. look at the numbers in our own poll that shows gingrich is a national favorite. i think to joe's point, if he can hold on and get to super tuesday, and get the revenge of a southern candidate.
>> when you look deep in our polls, he had a monster lead among southerners, and the tea partiers, and the heart of all three of those, the way the calendar sets up in march, it could be a good month for gingrich. february was a horrible period for hillary clinton, and she was counting on march because march had ohio, and that's where she was going to come back, and now it looks like february is a bad time for gingrich. where is he going to win? those caucuses, ron paul will do well and they are set up for mitt romney, and then michigan is one of romney's home states. arizona, i can make an argument that gingrich should do fairly well there. it's a very conservative state. but his position on immigration, i think the romney people will be able to exploit it and make it a liability for him there. he could go 0 for the next 6, going into super tuesday, and
that's a problem. >> meantime, doris kearns goodwin, you have the president, president obama who got into the game big. when you are president you can give the state of the union address and reach 40 million people, even if the numbers are down. here is the cover of a magazine, and it shows president obama watching the super bowl and it's gingrich and romney tackling each other. what kind of week did president obama have in unveiling his campaign strategy? >> well, a good week. the more course the language between the republicans the more they lose as a brand for the party. it's the worst that i have seen in a while. it is. not as bad as van buren, they have not descended to that.
sarah palin is an issue that goes to hearts. and the idea that brought immigrants to the shore, if you worked hard you could have a decent life and move up, people sense that that has been lost, and he said that's what he is going to fight for, fairness, because the system is rigged against ordinary people. >> joe, you talk about this all the time on "morning joe," the problems are so monumental, the politics seem small. is it a fair knock to say the american people are going to have to do with a lot less if we are going to get ourselves back on good financial footing? >> and this was bill clinton's 1996-1997 speech, and it's a great campaign speech. it's not a great governoring
document. this is sort of depressing. if you look at the politics on both sides, republican and democrat alike, look what they are saying and compare it to what simpson-bowles did, when they went out and took a chance to save the country fiscally. that's not happening on the president's side and not out at the white house, but the president has to do what he has to do to move towards re-election and that's to say the right words and watch the republicans destroy each other. >> i don't know what the most fascinating part of america is, but newt gingrich this week told me. >> i, early in the career tried to get away from the sugar subsidy, and the cane sugar goes behind beet sugar. >> i did not know what this meant. but you helped me, a floridan.
>> there is a whole conspiracy that the whole embargo on cuba, a lot believe it's about the profit in the sugar industry. you laugh, but, right, joe, the assumption is that once you realize how much sugar that cuba could provide and does provide -- >> sugar in lunar colonies. >> these are not quite the big ideas that i wanted. i am actually talking about cutting spending instead of setting up colonies on the moon. >> and some people say what is the big idea, and i don't think -- >> well, temperament is far more important. i am afraid the temperament is
the problem that showed up with the angry newt. >> he can win conservatives over if he said, you are right, i paid 14% and 15%, but that's double taxation, and let me explain how i think it's destructive, and he never connects the dots for conservatives. >> we will be watching on tuesday for the big vote. before we go, a quick programming note. i sat down with mr. cordray. you can watch it on the blog. stay with nbc and msnbc for continuing coverage of the countdown to the florida primary and the result here tuesday night. that's all for today. we'll be back next week. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." and so is having a trusted assistant. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above and still pay the mid-size price.
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